The Indiana Jones game was revealed in January and is an original story being shepherded by Elder Scrolls and Starfield creative director Todd Howard. Bethesda senior vice president of global marketing and communications Pete Hines confirmed that Indiana Jones would not delay the development of Starfield or Elder Scrolls 6, but otherwise, there has been no update since the reveal trailer.
In an interview with GameSpot, Pete Hines was asked about the status of Machine Games and Wolfenstein 3, which wasn’t at E3 this year, and he spoke a bit about Indiana Jones – only to suggest it’s a long way off. “We literally just announced that deal, so you can make your own guesses about how far along that is,” he says. “They’re in the very, very, very early stages of working on the Indiana Jones game.”
In 2019, Konami released the Castlevania Anniversary Collection, collecting eight of the classic Castlevania games and making them available again, including on PC. It didn't include all of the fan favorites, however, like Rondo of Blood or its sequel Symphony of the Night. Word of a new collection, not yet announced by Konami, has snuck out via the Australian Classification Board. On June 18, the Castlevania Advance Collection was rated M for "fantasy violence" in Australia.
The name suggests this will be a bundle containing the Castlevania games released on GameBoy Advance: 2001's Circle of the Moon, 2002's Harmony of Dissonance, and 2003's Aria of Sorrow. So no, Symphony of the Night seems likely to be left out again. Sorry.
The rating for the Castlevania Advance Collection describes it as "Multi Platform", so a PC release is not yet confirmed, but since the Castlevania Anniversary Collection did make it to Steam it's a fair assumption this will too.
The reveal of Battlefield 2042's gameplay trailer during the Xbox and Bethesda showcase at E3 this year seems to have gone well, if the spike in player numbers for Battlefield 4 is anything to go by. Excited players have been flocking to the last 'near-future' game in the series (Battlefield 4 is set in a fictional 2020, as imagined in 2013 when it was released) in such numbers that EA has had to boost the server capacity to cope with the influx.
"We were absolutely blown away by your excitement and reactions to the recent Battlefield 2042 reveal", an EA community manager wrote. "Since then, many of you have jumped back into Battlefield 4 to already get a taste of the return to all-out-warfare. We’ve been monitoring your experience and noticed queue times in the US West region were far longer than in other regions. Good news, we’ve increased server capacity for this region – you can expect less waiting, and more playing."
In response to a question about whether Back 4 Blood could be played offline in solo mode with AI team-mates, developers Turtle Rock replied, "We're looking into ways we could support offline for the future but you will need an internet connection to play at launch." That's a shame, because both of the Left 4 Dead games support offline play and some players were hoping Back 4 Blood would follow suit. It also won't have split-screen play at launch, with Turtle Rock noting that, "We'd love to support this in the future but won't be launching with it."
A month ago, Twitch responded to the rise in popularity of hot tub streams by creating a new category for Pools, Hot Tubs, and Beaches. Since then, another trend has become a hit on Twitch: streamers simulating the sound of earlicking with ASMR microphones while wearing yoga pants. This oddly specific trend is all over Twitch's ASMR channel, and two of the streamers who were dominating it, Kaitlyn "Amouranth" Siragusa and Jenelle "Indiefoxx" Dagres, have been banned.
Amouranth was at the centre of the hot-tub streaming controversy when her streams were demonetized by Twitch and deemed "not advertiser friendly," though they were within Twitch's content guidelines. Twitch subsequently backpedaled when it created the dedicated channel for Pools, Hot Tubs, and Beaches, saying that, "being found to be sexy by others is not against our rules, and Twitch will not take enforcement action against women, or anyone on our service, for their perceived attractiveness."
Apparently something about the streams in which Amouranth and Indiefoxx licked ASMR microphones while wearing tight leggings was against those rules, and both were banned for an unspecified amount of time. Amouranth tweeted that the ban has been good for her OnlyFans, with "587 new subs on OF since the ban mere hour or two ago".
Meanwhile, their absence and the influx of streamers currently joining the ASMR channel has left Pools, Hot Tubs, and Beaches free to be ruled by the otters of the Marine Mammal Rescue channel, who are currently the category's most popular livestream.
Not so “hard to imagine” now, eh? It was only late last year that Bethesda’s Todd Howard was struggling to picture a future in which The Elder Scrolls 6 is restricted to Microsoft platforms, and now Starfield has been confirmed as an Xbox and PC exclusive. The party line has changed somewhat: being able to focus on specific platforms for Starfield “is going to make for a better product”, Howard told The Telegraph.
Even back in September, just as Microsoft’s $7.5bn acquisition of Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax Media was announced, Howard was referencing its history of working with Microsoft on exclusives like Morrowind. The writing was on the wall. So what if it actually happens? What in Oblivion is going to happen if, or more likely when, Bethesda announces that The Elder Scrolls 6 is exclusive to Xbox and PC?
We’ll start off with announcement night, at what I’m going to baselessly predict is E3 2023. Fans have been starved of official information about The Elder Scrolls 6 for five years, so the prevailing mood for Bethesda’s segment of the Xbox Games Showcase is more frustration than hype. By the way, Starfield was amazing.
As the hype tornado of E3 dies down, has it inspired you to play something? Maybe one of the games that had a sequel shown off, like Stalker, The Outer Worlds, or Psychonauts—whether you're experiencing it for the first time or getting up to speed in time for the follow-up? (There are four Forza Horizon games to work through if you want to understand the lore of Forza Horizon 5.) Has seeing Gloomwood made you want to play Thief: The Dark Project, have you got stuck into the demo for Sable, or are you playing something that was surprise released during the annual videogame marketing blitz, like Minute of Islands or Dark Deity?
Plenty of us have gone back to the comfortable old favorites we were playing before all this nonsense, of course.
Christopher Livingston: No idea yet—with all the demos I've tried and trailers I've seen I feel like I've stuffed my face with cake for a week and you're asking me what kind of cake I want for dessert. I think I might pass and try reading a book tonight. But there were some clips of The Crew 2 in the Ubisoft preshow that put me in a driving mood, and Forza's slick trailer also made me want to step on the gas. Maybe after I spend the weekend recovering I'll find a game with some cars in it and take it for a spin. Maybe Mad Max. That one lets me drive and blow stuff up.
Natalie Clayton: I've been obsessed with the Sable demo ever since Morgan DM'd me late at night to let me know it had gone live. What a beautiful thing that is, absolutely dripping in warm, familial vibes, with an aesthetic that somehow supersedes a year of watching it play out in Twitter gifs. It's surprisingly Breath of the Wild, and while I'd love to revisit that game to capture those lonely open-world vibes again, I was only ever borrowing that game from a guy who now lives in Denmark. Gutted.
Still, Sable provided a welcome few evenings away, and I've done a bit of extra wandering in the delightful Minute of Islands. But with the dust settled, I'm fully back on a hefty Apex Legends obsession that's been running since I found out Respawn basically put me in the game. How could I not?
Wes Fenlon: I recently went on a tear through Hades—I played a good bit of it last year, but recently became obsessed with seeing the entire story through, unlocking all the weapon aspects, and so on. I've finally started to burn out on that, and am weirdly feeling like bouncing around some "big" games from the last decade or so that I didn't play. I started with The Evil Within—James swears by the second one so I decided to play TEW1 first, and… holy crap, it's so boring!? I've played about an hour and a half and feel zero desire to go any further.
Instead of jumping straight into The Evil Within 2 I decided to try out Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, inspired by developer MercurySteam working on the new Metroid Dread (but mostly how much I love the Netflix Castlevania show). After two hours or so I'm enjoying it slightly more than The Evil Within, but it really does feel like a cliche ~2010 action game—one trying to punch above its weight, without the style or budget to be properly epic. It's not good, but it's maybe dumb enough for me to keep playing.
So basically, my tastes are fickle and I'm probably wasting my time playing crappy old games instead of a million great games I could be playing. A life well wasted!
Rich Stanton: I know it's odd and old but Batman: Arkham Knight suddenly jumped out at me. I dodged it initially because the PC version was terrible, and though I loved Asylum I felt Arkham City was a 7/10 game. I've been playing Knight though and been astounded, it has so many great Batman fantasy elements.
The game might have flaws but, like, nothing else, it really 'got' Batman—and gave it to us lucky souls. That is an amazing game and I recommend it to anyone: forget the moans about the Batmobile. If you love Batman, this is as good as it gets.
Jody Macgregor: Instead of checking out new stuff I've gone back to Mass Effect Legendary Edition. Got a couple of saves on the go, but right now I'm on what's turned into my Boring Boyfriends playthrough—romancing Kaidan, then Jacob, then reuniting with Kaidan again in Mass Effect 3, which is where I'm at now. I maintain Jacob's actually not that boring—he makes some spicy comments when you bring Thane and Tali onto the ship, and he's one of the only squadmates who turns your prying around and actually asks about you. (Liara does as well, to be fair.)
Oh, right, I'm saving the galaxy as well as going on dates, I guess? That whole bit on Tuchanka where you have to get past a reaper and a bunch of reaper-ized krogan to distribute the genophage cure still rules.
XoRn: Uh… I been playing Saints Row: Gat out of Hell. Also, E3 happened? Where was I?
Zloth: X4: Foundations (is this game a sandbox or a beach!?) and Yakuza 2. I kept tabs on E3, but it will likely be a year before anything mentioned there actually affects what I'm playing.
mainer: Currently still replaying BG2, but have loaded up Elex for a 2nd playthrough in the hopes that Elex 2 will see the light of day by the end of the year. I think Piranha Bytes did the smart thing by listing it as "Coming Soon" on its Steam page, rather than list a specific date.
Greyfoxcal: Started playing The Longing to keep myself awake through E3, and I'm now invested enough to keep plugging away at it. Gotta get that shade a comfy bed.
Sarafan: Currently playing a few titles but none of them is inspired by E3. First one is Control. I already finished the base game, but still have to finish the Foundation DLC. I have to say that the game is great. It has a lot of artistic value and with RTX on it looks marvelous. It also gives a lot of fun thanks to wonderful physics. I'd love to see a sequel, but it's unlikely to happen in the near future.
I've also decided to do an another run of The Legacy of Kain series (my nickname is inspired by it). I didn't have plans to play the first Blood Omen game, but changed my mind after playing Soul Reaver. Blood Omen 1 has a legendary status among the fans, because it's impossible to buy the game on digital distribution platforms and the physical copies have absurd prices on auction portals. It's still fun, but you need to get used to wacky controls. And it's a game where it all started!
Crusader Kings 3 has a small update coming this week, currently in open beta on Steam, and set to release on June 22nd barring any major bugs, that fixes some problems with the foremost medieval sim's big 1.4 patch. That patch released on June 8th, with some pretty good stuff going on like new haircuts and hats, as well as some game mechanics changes or whatever like dynamic garrisons.
About those hats, though: There was a Jester's Hat. Too many people were wearing that hat. I saw, like, a whole family wearing that hat at the same time the other day. The jester's hat has been nerfed: "Jester hat will be less fashionable after 1300 and thus, won’t used by the majority of the characters anymore."
Elaborate simulation games always get the best patch notes, and while Dwarf Fortress is an all-time champion the Crusader Kings games have, over the years, really given DF a run for its money. Crusader Kings 3 is no different.
Here are a couple others that I like:
Fixed the faith character list potentially overflowing and crashing the game due to dead people pretending to be alive
Characters with an opinion above 80 will properly leave factions
The Decision Develop Capital cannot be done by a child anymore
Dead children should not show up anymore during Meet Peers events
Damn ghost children, always trying to show up when I'm meeting my Peers. You can read the full 1.4.2 beta patch notes on the Crusader Kings 3 Forums.
For more funny patch notes, you should go check out the roundup from March's 1.3 patch, which is one of the best so far for hilariously-worded updates.
Anthropomorphic rats n cats kung-fu brawler Biomutant has a big new patch out updating a broad range of features, but most specifically doubling the level cap from 50 to 100. For PC players, there's also now settings to switch what field of view type you're adjusting, either horizontal or vertical, so you can get the right aspect ratio when using whatever bizarre stack of ultrawide monitors you've got hacked together.
The level cap increase seems tailored to those taking on Biomutant in New Game+, as does a big change to loot allowing for more variations of loot rather than repeats. There are also "several new items which have higher stats than their lower rarity counterparts." So if you find a low-level item you like, well, now there's a good chance you can find a high level variant of it.
A major quality of life update now also allows you to scrap items from the loot screen, rather than having to dive into your inventory proper. A variety of other issues and quality of life additions, from UI tweaks to melee lock-on, are also included in the full patch notes, which you can find easily on Steam.
Biomutant was a game much-hyped before its release this year, mostly for its quirky ideas and cute cats. Our review found it quirky and cute, but ultimately boring. That's not to say it's bad—you can get a lot out of it—but that it's not a classic in the making.
Card game autobattler Storybook Brawl released in Early Access on Steam yesterday, giving you the opportunity to draft "your favourite characters from story and myth", such as the trademark-neutral "Snow Wight", or "Princess Peep and her battle-hardened sheep". Each fairytale character has unique abilities.
With its theming and big, bright UI, Storybook Brawl comes off as the sort of game that's easy to learn, but difficult to master. "The goal was to create a game that anyone can get into and have fun," says designer Matt Place, who was a Magic Pro Tour champion before he turned his hand to game design. "Fairytales give us a huge array of characters with different personalities and attributes to explore, and it allows us to make a very accessible game that is not too complex but has deep strategy for those who want it."
The studio, Good Luck Games, is led by three former professional card game players who have since transitioned to game design, working on projects including Hearthstone and Elder Scrolls: Legends before coming together to work on Storybook Brawl. Having played at such a high level, it's interesting that they would choose explicitly to make such an approachable game. Most reviewers on Steam are already fans of the genre. (There are 33 reviews for Storybook Brawl at the time of writing, with a "positive" average.)
Storybook Brawl is expected to be in Early Access until "late 2021 to early 2022". The core systems and many of the final game objects are already in place (including "1 Ultra Cute Puff Puff"), but players can expect to see features added such as group lobbies, friend chat, and fully-voiced characters.